Japan reports 577 new cases of COVID-19, 85,451 in total
The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 577 to 85,451 as of Saturday night, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities.
The figure excludes the 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo earlier in the year.
The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus stood at 1,613, with four new fatalities announced Saturday. The death toll includes 13 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The health ministry also said 137 patients were considered severely ill with ventilators or in intensive care units.
In Tokyo, the epicenter of Japan's outbreak, 207 new cases were reported on Saturday, hovering around 200 for five consecutive days, with the capital's cumulative total reaching 26,376, the highest among Japan's 47 prefectures.
In a move aimed at tackling the spread of the virus, the Japanese Health Ministry's advisory body approved a policy on Friday to provide all members of the public in Japan with a free dose of vaccine against COVID-19.